Food safety scandals that rocked the boat last year are still fresh in our memory.
Food is one of the most basic needs in life; yet negative scandals one after another have started a wildfire of doubts and anxiety over food safety. We, at Suho Memorial Paper Museum nested in an urban nook, also reflect upon what went wrong.
In the midst of confusion, our old artist friend for nearly 20 years, Lee, Chao-Chang, from the Army Camp of Arts in Si-luo Township, Yunlin, shared his life practice with us: keeping a regular routine for work, meals and rest, lessening the usage of 3C products, gathering wood for a rustic stove, as well as rationing electricity and water, etc. Within every detail, he seeks the aesthetics of a rustic life as well as a reduction of his environmental impact. In this fashion, he puts in to practice “the art of life” that is simple, sustainable and centers on beginner’s mind.
So, it just dawned on us:＂Why don’t we invite Chao-Chang over to lead a Suho version of a 14-day Experiential Camp?” Though we cannot duplicate his daily routines at the Army Camp of Arts, we will focus on its core aspect—food. At a Zen bamboo garden in the short time span of an hour and half for lunch, we followed his footsteps to learn the art of abiding in one’s center and slowing down while eating, as we dissected and attended to each minute gesture of eating. Moreover, each participant had his or her turn to be his “sous chef” and enter his life, as he or she prepared a meal with him. In this manner, each participant learned to experience meditation and a simple, but deep life.
In certain moments, Suho’s members did find that their bodies are lighter, and the mind quieter. And as flakes of sunshine fall and overlay on her shoulder, the joys in their hearts ripple through their being. Conversely, reflection and doubts may also be present during the 14 days of experiment, everyone may very well question: is this a practicable life style for me?
Maybe, a lifestyle is a matter of personal choice and there is no correct answer. We invite you to review our experiences over these last 2 weeks and journal on our most familiar carrier of memory—paper. This is done in the hope that when participants walk out of this Museum, each will begin to contemplate, “How shall I make a difference in my own life?” Maybe one day, we will all be able to fashion a beautiful life that is our own.